Dalton Maag research

Dalton Maag?

As a group we were set the task of finding a quote from Dalton Maag, an “independent type design studio” based in London. I decided to do some research on Dalton Maag and find out more about them, who are they? What type of fonts they create? The company consists of 41 type designers, developers and creative directors. They all work together to create hand custom fonts, working with clients big and small. The research was interesting and with the information from their website, I was able to see examples of there work and also some examples of clients. E.g. ‘Google’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Intel’ and ‘Nokia’. Their work as”high quality designers” has inspired me to take further interest in this type of design.




Quentin Blake: Inside Stories


This morning we visited the Quentin Blake, inside stories exhibition in the Cardiff National Museum. The exhibition focused on giving an insight to the artists work, especially his most famous illustrations in the Roald Dahl books.

The way the exhibition was set out and how his work was displayed on the walls was really effective. Using 3D titles it drew me into the piece, it was a really clever way of making it visually attractive for the reader.

What did I take from this?

The exhibition allowed me to visually see Quentin Blake’s illustration techniques and how the museum have selected and organised each piece. As a graphic designer/ communicator its important to understand how to exhibit work for maximum impact. From the exhibition I now know that using different colours can set different moods, for example in the Quentin Blake Exhibition ‘The children’s stories’, were set up on a white wall with colourful illustrations. In comparison the illustrations that were aimed at an older viewer were placed on a grey wall. It was also very clear that the work was curated so that the exhibition flowed seamlessly as one piece, the illustrations got slightly more sophisticated, from one end of the room to the other.

Planning my six word story

To be prepared for creating our six word stories from Roald Dahl we had the task of coming up with our final ideas and creating sketches of how we want the writing to look and how we want it to be set out on the page. I started my plan by creating one page full of different six word stories, including stories from ‘The Twits’, Matilda, The BFG, James and the giant peach and Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Some of my ideas were;

  • Two hairy people like pulling pranks.
  • Magical girl levitates jug of water.
  • Girl has weird addiction to books?
  • Crazy couple have very long hair!
  • Gigantic rhino cloud eats boy’s parents.
  • Mr & Mrs Twit are VERY, VERY hairy.

For my final piece i decided to use the  ‘Gigantic rhino cloud eats boy’s parents’ story. I chose this story  because it was unique and quirky but also it didn’t give too much information to the reader and catches their attention so that they want to know more. Another reason I had for choosing this story was because the words give me freedom to experiment, for example I can create the word ‘Gigantic’ by using capitals and adjusting its size to emphasise its meaning.





Hybography is defined as a hybrid because to be able to create it you must cut two existing typefaces to create a completely new and unique typeface.  So to be able to explore this further we were set the task of creating new letter from using both Serif and Sans-Serif. I chose to use the word ‘Adjust’ and explored the many ways I could create the letterform and convey its meaning. As inspiration for this exercise I was recommended to visit the following website. This website was very helpful to show what different typefaces look like when they’re put together.

 Step 1 – Sketch my ideas.


Step 2 – To choose one of the ideas to go forward and create it on a bigger scale.

I decided to use the word ‘Adjust’, it gave me the freedom  and inspiration and I was able to reconstruct it to portray its meaning. I started by turning the the letter ‘A’ upside down so that the person thats looking at it would know to ‘adjust’ it. To improve this idea I chose to do draw the words half serif and half sans-serif. Im fairly happy with the final piece, but if I was to do it again I would experiment with changing the size and the height of the letters and possibly turn more of the letters to different angles or upside down.

From this exercise I learnt how to change the appearance of letters so that the words meaning is shown visually and how effective it is to combine Serif and Sans-Serif typefaces.

First week

Introduction to typography and typographic forms. 

The first lecture I had was an introduction to typography. From this I learnt that typography wasn’t just words on a page, but also the structure of ideas and the management  of letters. I also learnt that over time typography has changed and developed being influenced by politics, the economy, society and technology. To be able to get a further understanding of what it means to use typography I  researched quotes by experienced type designers like Bruno Maag,

“There’s a simplicity in typography that demands absolute accuracy… the only way you can experience it by doing it, and you cant do it on a screen because a screen never gives you the entire picture”.

After getting a better understanding of typography, I then researched different typographic forms, finding examples of the letters and their definitions, using the following link as a guide.

This research showed me the difference between each type form and what makes them unique. It was an interesting task that gave me a deeper insight into the different typefaces and help familiarise myself with the examples. However, I found this task quite challenging as some of the terms were difficult to find and hard to draw.

Cardiff in typographic forms

Using the typographic forms, we were then set the task of finding photographic examples of the letters around Cardiff city centre. My group had the task of finding examples of Humanist typefaces, Trifurcated serif and Versals Lombardic.

However this task was harder than I expected. Being able to find the right styles was a difficult task and we spent a lot of time focusing on the wrong styles of writing. I found that using the research from the night before was very helpful and helped me understand  what styles we were looking for. If I was to ever do this task again I would  do slightly more research and find more examples of the styles of writing to make the task easier and more straight forward.

What next?

The next step was to use the styles we discovered through our photographic research to draw examples of the letters on bright coloured paper. The letters where then cut out and used to create an exhibition in the main entrance of Cardiff School of Art and Design. Though doing this workshop I learnt how to use my research and my creative skills to create an exhibition in a short amount of time. Even though it was a simple task, the idea behind it was much bigger. Not only is the exhibition a collection of random letters and styles but it is also a portrait of Cardiff City Centre, with the letters representing all the companies in the town.